Senate yesterday commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, for its directive to electricity distribution companies, DISCOs to restructure fixed charges, discontinue estimated billing and bulk metering of consumers in the country.
The senate, in a statement issued in Abuja by its chairman of Adhoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, stated that NERC’s intervention shows that it was a responsible regulatory body that is responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
While describing the steps taken so far by NERC in response to senate’s resolution on the issue of fixed charges as a pro-people position, it added that the commission ‎could be relied upon to save electricity consumers from the excesses of the service providers.
It could be recalled that the Senate had before embarking on its six weeks recess, called on NERC to immediately ensure that Discos discontinue the fixed monthly charges on electricity following a motion on the issue by Senators Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) and David Umaru (Niger East) entitled: “Unfair trade practices of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria.”
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Sam Amadi had in response to the issue of fixed charges said though it is legal, the Commission had intervened to prevent its abuse and ensure that customers are not forced to pay for what they did not consume.
The commission categorically said it “agrees with the Senate’s position on the need to eliminate the practice of bulk billing of residential customers and replace the practice with individual metering and billing” while urging Nigerians to reject the practice forthwith.
Melaye, while calling on NERC to ensure that its intervention yields expected fruits in the shortest possible time to the benefit of Nigerians, urged other agencies whose activities have direct impact on the generality of the public to always make decisions that would benefit the people rather than impoverish them.
“The Senate, moved by the plight of Nigerians who daily suffer the negative consequence of lack of regular power supply, has constituted a committee to look into power spending by past administration with a view to blocking the loopholes that may still exist.
“On the other hand, the Committee on Works was constituted to make sure spending on roads infrastructure across the country were judiciously spent too and to prevent recurrence where otherwise be the case.
“Above all, Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu have both led high powered delegations of the Senate to visit Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Maiduguri and Adamawa respectively in clear demonstration of the Senate’s commitment to support efforts being made to end insurgency in the North-East and other affected parts of the country,” he stated.

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